Physical Custody

Children live with the parent who has Physical Custody.

Physical custody can be:

  • Joint, which means that the children live with both parents.
  • Sole or primary, which means the children live with 1 parent most of the time and usually visit the other parent.

Joint physical custody does not mean that the children must spend exactly half the time with each parent. Usually the children spend a little more time with 1 parent than the other because it is too hard to split the time exactly in half. When 1 parent has the children more than half of the time, then that parent is sometimes called the “primary custodial parent.”

Sometimes, a judge gives parents joint legal custody, but not joint physical custody. This means that both parents share the responsibility for making important decisions in the children’s lives, but the children live with 1 parent most of the time. The parent who does not have physical custody usually has visitation with the children.

See also Legal CustodyPhysical Custody, Joint Legal CustodySole Legal CustodyJoint Physical CustodySole Physical Custody, Joint Custody, Parenting Plan.

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